OECD/European Union (2010), Pharmaceutical Expenditure, in Health at a Glance: Europe 2010, OECD Publishing
(2010; 4 pages)


Chapter 4.4. Pharmaceutical expenditure.

Spending on pharmaceuticals account for a significant proportion of total health spending in European countries. Increased consumption of pharmaceuticals due to the introduction of new drugs and the ageing of populations has been an important factor contributing to increased overall heath expenditure (OECD, 2008a). However, the relationship between pharmaceutical spending and total health spending is a complex one, in that increased expenditure on pharmaceuticals to tackle diseases may reduce the need for costly hospitalisation and intervention now or in the future.

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